Comedian and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor Richard Lewis revealed in a social media post video Sunday that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago.
He began the minute-and-a-half video by sharing that he was just wrapped Season 12 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” a couple of weeks ago and expressed his gratitude for being a part of that great show. “But,” he said, “the last three and a half years I’ve had sort of a rocky time.”
People have been asking him for the last few years when he’s going to be touring with his standup comedy show again. “Well, here’s really what happened…” he said.
He went on to say that 3.5 years ago, he was in the middle of his tour when he decided he didn’t want to be on the road anymore. “I said, ‘You know, I’m at the top of my game. After 50 years almost, I’m just going to call it quits.’ And I felt great about that. And then out of the blue, the s—t hit the fan.”
Lewis said that he had back surgery, shoulder surgery, shoulder replacement surgery and hip replacement surgery “back to back to back to back,” adding, “Bad luck, but that’s life.”
“On top of all of that,” he continued, two years ago he started “walking a little stiffly” and “shuffling” his feet. After a trip to a neurologist, who gave him a brain scan, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“I got it late in life, and they say you progress very slowly if at all,” Lewis said. “I just wanted you to know that that’s where it’s been at. I’m finished with standup, I’m just focusing on writing and acting. I have Parkinson’s disease but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool.
Per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is movement disorder of the nervous system that gets worse over time. As nerve cells (neurons) in parts of the brain weaken, are damaged, or die, people may begin to notice problems with movement, tremor, stiffness in the limbs or the trunk of the body, or impaired balance.”
John L. Lehr, President and CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation, said this of Lewis’ diagnosis:
“Last night, comedian and actor Richard Lewis announced that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). He joins the 90,000 people in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with PD this year alone and the 1 million people nationwide living with PD. Lewis noted that he is under a doctor’s care. This is a great reminder that it is possible to have a good quality of life with Parkinson’s disease; with support and expert care, the disease can be managed. The Parkinson’s Foundation encourages people living with Parkinson’s and their families to seek expert care from a neurologist. For more information about managing a Parkinson’s diagnosis, visit Parkinson.org/NewlyDiagnosed or call our free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636) for support in English and Spanish.”